The global market for server sales saw double-digit growth last year as companies recovered from the economic downturn, according to research from Gartner.
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Server sales grew 13.2% compared to 2009. These results were fuelled by a replacement of aging x86 servers which had been maintained through the economic doldrums of 2009, said Gartner.
Adrian O'Connell, research director at Gartner, said: "We need to recognise that the market is still in a fairly tentative recovery mode. Many companies are still in cost-containment mode and, although 2010 growth levels were strong, we're still some way off the revenue highs that we saw in 2007."
The outlook for 2011 suggests growth will continue but at lower levels, as the highest level of the replacement cycle for x86 servers was probably reached in 2010, said Gartner.
HP and IBM are in competition for leading market share as both vendors achieved revenues of over $15bn for 2010, each with a market share of 31%. HP achieved a stronger year-on-year growth rate of 18.9%, to IBM's 9.2%.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), server shipments surpassed 706,000 units in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 4.4% from the same period last year. Server sales totalled $4.3bn in the fourth quarter of 2010, a growth of 10.4 per cent from the same quarter last year.
"The fourth quarter rounded off an encouraging year for the server market in EMEA with each quarter seeing positive year to year growth rates for both shipments and revenues," said O'Connell. "EMEA was particularly badly hit by the downturn in 2009 and, although economic concerns continue across much of the region, the server market has shown good momentum during 2010."